A new technology to combat antimicrobial resistant and biofilm infections

Joan Gavaldà


    Joan Gavaldà


    VHIR, Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca, Spain


    Increased antimicrobial resistance is a health challenge on a global scale that costs 50,000 lives across EU and USA. Moreover, has resulted in an estimated annual cost of € 1.5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses in the EU alone. Moreover, acquired infections in healthcare centres create additional suffering for patients and their families, and can also contribute to increased antibiotic resistance.

    To develop a new non-existent technological approach combining nanotechnology, antibiotics and physical and chemical strategies to fight infections in healthcare medical devices, such as catheters and prostheses.

    Problem to Solve
    Over four million patients in the EU acquire healthcare-associated infections (HAI) every year. Usually, HAI are associated with surgical sites and invasive devices, such as vascular access lines, prostheses, catheters and ventilators, that bacteria can colonize growing in biofilms.
    These infections are estimated to contribute to roughly 100,000 deaths across the EU. Moreover, current antibiotics are becoming less effective due to increasing bacterial resistance, and there is a lack of new drugs and investment to tackle this challenge. Increased antimicrobial resistance costs 50,000 lives across EU and USA with a prospect of a mortality higher than cancer by 2050.

    ThermoShot ™ and FlashShot ™ could help prevent and treat resistant and biofilm infections in two different ways:

    • ThermoShot ™ combines an antibiotic (amikacin) with a silver nanoparticle that can be heated to produce in situ hyperthermia (40 °C), killing the bacteria.

    • FlashShot ™ simulates the action of activated neutrophil cells by producing in situ hypochlorous acid, which actively kills bacteria.

    Level of Innovation
    Both ThermoShot ™ and FlashShot ™ prototypes have been tested in vitro and are an innovative technology that is easy to apply, with a competitive cost-effectiveness rate.